The Charity

The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay advocates for clean water in Grand Traverse Bay and acts to protect and preserve the bay’s watershed. Our almost 1,000-square-mile watershed includes more than 50 townships in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Antrim and Kalkaska counties.

Our main activities include:
  • Advocacy and collaboration: The Watershed Center is the only organization that advocates for clean water in Grand Travere Bay. The cornerstone of this advocacy program is the Grand Traverse Baykeeper® program. Our Baykeeper serves as the eyes, ears and voice for clean, healthy water throughout our watershed and works with local governments, developers, planners and citizens; is involved in community planning projects and boards; and comments on proposed project permits and legislation.
  • On-the-ground restoration projects: Over the past 12 years, The Watershed Center has successfully implemented almost $7 million in state, federal and foundation funding to improve and protect water quality in our region. Key projects include daylighting a portion of Kids Creek that was previously underground to improve stream health, the installation of 18 rain gardens and ¾ mile of underground infiltration trenches in Suttons Bay to reduce stormwater impacts to the Bay, installation of 3 large-scale stormwater filters at East Bay Park and reconstruction of a storm drain in Northport to protect wetland habitat.
  • Education and outreach: The Watershed Center stands up for what is best for the protection and preservation of the Grand Traverse Bay watershed and we encourage and seek to achieve behavior change that makes and keeps our water clean. Our education and outreach activities include the Adopt-a-Stream volunteer stream monitoring program; work with local school and organizations; public service campaigns; water quality/educational signage throughout the watershed; healthy beaches signage and water quality monitoring during the summer months; and our annual Freshwater Summit conference, among others.


Learn more about what we do and our impact at


The Watershed Center is a proud member of the Waterkeeper Alliance®, a non-profit organization representing over 280 Waterkeepers in 34 countries to protect citizen’s rights to clean water.